4. Starting at Ebla: The City and Its Music

The cuneiform texts of Ebla (Tell Mardikh) have now yielded the word kinnārum, nearly a millennium and a half before King David. By ca. 2400, Ebla controlled a sizeable area of upper inland Syria; its dependencies included Karkemish, Alalakh, Hamath, Emar, and Harran. [1] Ebla’s political and commercial interests were quite wide-ranging, extending into Mesopotamia (including Kish and Mari) and the Levant (Ugarit, Byblos). [2] Its pantheon included early forms of WS deities (Dagan, Hadda, Rašap) and others from a non-Semitic substrate, most importantly the city-god Kura and his consort Barama. [3] With the possible exception of Ea/Haya, [4] the pantheon is essentially independent of Mesopotamia, and while Ebla was in the orbit of Sumerian scribal culture, the few Mesopotamian hymns and other literary texts found there probably had no cultic use. [5] A possible exception is a collection of Sumerian and Akkadian incantations, which may have stimulated the formation of a comparable local genre. [6]
Publication of the royal archives, spanning some forty-five years and at least three kings—Yigriš-Halab, Yirkab-Damu, and Yiš’ar-Damu—is incomplete. [7] Yet they already reveal a vibrant, cosmopolitan musical world. [8] Numerous singer-musicians (NAR), dancers (NE.DI), and acrobats or ‘cult dancers’ (ḪÚB) came from other palaces to perform for royal occasions like feasts, wedding celebrations, and religious festivals (temple-musicians per se remain elusive, as no temple archive has been found). [9] Mari, Nirar, Kish, Emar, Tuttul, Nagar, and Aleppo are all attested as sources of musical exchange, with performers often travelling in the train of royal or aristocratic visitors. [10] Local Eblaite musicians active in and about the palace are revealed by repeated appearances in distribution lists. [11] Some have names that suggest an origin outside of Ebla itself. [12] That singer-musicians can be named individually shows the relative prestige that members of this profession might achieve when steadily visible to the world of kings and notables. [13] Some singer-musicians must have traveled in their turn to foreign centers, but such movements remain invisible, not involving palace disbursements on the home end.
A group of some twenty female singers (NAR.MÍ), and a number of dancers, were apparently housed among the royal women, presumably performing within the palace, and perhaps at festivals involving women. There is no evidence to show that they were also concubines, as commonly at OB Mari; but this would hardly be surprising. [14] As to the female mourners who are attested for the funeral of a royal princess, [15] we do not know if this involved more than raw ululation, nor whether there was some overlap with the palace musiciennes.
While Sumerian musical titles were regularly used by the scribes of Ebla, it is unclear how far this reflects actual Sumerian musical influence, rather than mere orthographic convention. Still, the regular distinction in the palace archives between ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ singers (NAR.MAḪ and NAR.TUR, literally ‘big’ and ‘small’ singers) reveals a stratified professional environment comparable to that of Mari and various sites in Babylonia. Clearly defined ranks would have been very practical in a world where regular allocations had to be made to visiting artists, and there was periodic relocation and reintegration of musicians through conquest and gift-exchange. At Ebla it is sometimes possible to follow the promotions, demotions, re-promotions, arrivals, departures, transfers, and deaths of singers over many years. [16] The careers of around fifty Eblaite male singer-musicians (NAR) can be so traced, with clear correspondence between position in list and length of service. One can even observe a nearly 200 percent corporate growth over the period covered by the archives, probably connected with an overall increase in the prosperity of the palace—prior to its destruction by Sargon or Naram-Sin. [17] It also seems that this management structure operated, on a smaller scale, throughout the kingdom. [18]

Kinnārum and Balang

Ebla thus represents a sophisticated, regionally interconnected music-culture prevailing throughout North Syria. It is appropriate that the first attestation of kinnārum should come from such an environment. It is found in the so-called Ebla Vocabulary, a massive bilingual lexical collection developed during several generations following the introduction of cuneiform to the city. [19] The scribes glossed kinnārum with Sum. BALAĜ, quite decisive evidence that, at least in third millennium Babylonia, the Sumerian word could refer to a stringed instrument. [20] This equation cannot be dismissed as scribal confusion. [21] After all, the kinnārum was equally known, we saw, to the scribes of ED Mesopotamia, where it was also associated with the balang. [22] Nor can performance context be made the sole basis of these connections, so that the lamenting lyre of the west becomes the functional equivalent of the Mesopotamian lamenting drum. For BALAĜ appears in another Eblaite text where there is clearly no question of lamentation—a ‘BALAĜ-man’ (LÚ.BALAĜ) who appears in company with a group of cult-dancers/acrobats (ḪÚB) as recipients of textile disbursements. [23] Elsewhere the instrument of a NAR is a BALAĜ. [24] These designations recall the NAR.BALAĜ of Sumerian texts, and Ušumgal-kalama, Ningirsu’s balang-god who was not a lamenter but a nar. [25] So the scribes’ equation of BALAĜ and kinnārum was clearly not based on ‘genre’ alone: they must have seen some organological similarity between the two instruments. [26] At Ebla, therefore, the expressions LÚ.BALAĜ and NAR.BALAĜ will mean simply ‘kinnārum-singer’.
Besides the many NAR known at Ebla, palace records attest to the maintenance of another musical class, the BALAĜ.DI. In some texts, they appear as a group of nine. [27] Elsewhere, four BALAĜ.DI are specified in connection with a kind of ‘cultic chapel’ (É.NUN), presumably a dedicated location in which they often operated. [28] These BALAĜ.DI are usually interpreted as lamentation-priests, on the basis of early Sumerian usage. [29] They are indeed known to have performed in such a context (see below), and this function helps account for the otherwise conspicuous absence from Ebla of Sum. GALA. [30] Although the comparative evidence is good as far as it goes, it should not dictate too rigid an interpretation of the BALAĜ.DI’s musical character at Ebla itself. It is intrinsically likely, first, that the city’s lamentation practices were rather distinct from those of contemporary southern Mesopotamia. Moreover, Sumerian BALAĜ.DI meant originally merely a player of the balang; its application to lamentation-singers is thus a specialized development, [31] and it is unclear where the Eblaite usage falls along, or branches from, this continuum.
Now the scribes equated BALAĜ.DI with na-ti-lu-(um) in their own language. [32] This has been plausibly derived from the root *nṭl, ‘raise up’, so that BALAĜ.DI/nāṭilū(m) is “he who lifts [sc. the voice]”; a comparable semantic development is noted for the Hebrew cognate nś’, where the context is lamentation. [33] From here, and the equation BALAĜ = kinnārum, it is an easy inference that the BALAĜ.DI of Ebla performed to the lyre; the two entries in the Ebla Vocabulary are in fact adjacent. We shall see further evidence in Chapter 12 of lyric lamentation to the knr. But since the BALAĜ-kinnārum of Ebla was definitely used for more than lamentation-singing, clearly the distinction between NAR and BALAĜ.DI relates to their respective functions more than the instruments used. And the BALAĜ.DI of Ebla probably had some broader purview than lamentation alone, to judge from their association with the ‘cultic chapel’ (É.NUN). Obviously this professional ‘segregation’ of the BALAĜ.DI from the NAR equally implies some social difference. While it would be rash to draw a hard line between secular and sacred—since NAR could perform at religious festivals, royal weddings, and so on—it does seem likely that the BALAĜ.DI were responsible for the main liturgical functions required by the palace. As such, their range would not have been limited to lamentation.

Lamentation and Royal Ancestor Cult

The one context for which there is any information about BALAĜ.DI performance is a complex series of royal rites attested in three versions. One is evidently a kind of prescriptive template for the other two, which describe specific and slightly varied manifestations relating to the city’s last two kings. [34] These two are semi-narrative accounts of what actually transpired, although they equally follow a more-or-less fixed sequence. [35] The occasion and purpose have been variously interpreted, most often as a royal wedding and/or enthronement. [36] The latter idea, at least, is now ruled out by correlations with the textile and metal-distribution tablets, whose chronology, having been established, is incompatible with an accession; nor do these texts give any support to the wedding hypothesis. Biga and Capomacchia have now argued convincingly that, while the ritual sequence may have been executed on, and adapted to, various occasions, the unifying purpose of all three texts is the renovation of royal authority through veneration of the royal ancestors and the regular maintenance of their cult. It may still be, however, that the ritual could be coordinated with such occasions as wedding and enthronement, and that such royal themes partially contributed to the ritual’s symbolism. [37]
The ritual called for the royal couple to travel to different stations within the kingdom, executing rites and making offerings to various gods and certain of the royal ancestors’ divinized shades. [38] The centerpiece was three seven-day ritual cycles undertaken at the mausoleum at Nenaš, where the king and queen took up temporary residence. [39] The actions are enumerated in considerable detail, although the precise timing is not always clear. Included were acts of purification, investment, washing, anointing, and benediction, accompanied at every stage by abundant animal and material offerings, notably to royal ancestors, the Sun, and Kura and Barama—of whom the king and queen were the terrestrial counterparts. [40] Offerings on the seventh day of each cycle were themselves sevenfold. [41]
It is during this long sequence that the BALAĜ.DI lamenters, indispensable to the rites, were called upon to perform. [42] It must have been dramatic. The royal couple, after braving a spooky night in the mausoleum, emerged to sit “upon the two thrones of their fathers” and await the dawn:
The god Sun rises, the invoker invokes [and] the lamenters (na-ti-lu) intone their lamentation—The Goddess Nintu Who is Angered. [43] And ‘that which makes to shine’ [i.e. aromatic oil [44] ] makes its request to do so. [And Nin]tu [makes sh]ine the new Kura, the new Barama, the new king, the new qu[een]. [45]
The text appears to preserve the incipit of an actual lamentation. [46] The song’s character is confirmed by the rite’s outcome, since the ‘angered’ goddess is induced to “make shine” the royal couple. In Sumerian tradition, Nintu was a goddess of childbirth whose powers became associated specifically with the begetting of kings. [47] So this was evidently a kind of symbolic rebirth.
The lamenters are mentioned again soon afterwards, following another series of rites. This time the action is presented in the past tense, apparently indicating not a second performance, but the completion of a sequence that began with the song just discussed: [48]
And the lamenters (na-ti-lu) have executed their lament. And [sc. the man of] Harugu [49] recites the benediction. And he (?) sounds the lament of the king three times and of the queen three times. [50]
The importance of this passage lies in the word translated here as “sounds” (i-a1ba-ad). Fronzaroli would read this as /yilappat/ and derive it from the root *lpt (‘touch’), pointing to Akk. lapātu, which can be used to describe the playing of a stringed instrument (compare Greek psállein). [51] If this is right, [52] it corroborates the argument above that the kinnārum was employed in lamentation-singing at Ebla. Admittedly the present performance configuration is hardly clear. With the standing group of BALAĜ.DI apparently excluded, the possibilities envisioned by Fronzaroli are that “the man of Harugu” accompanies either himself in reciting the lament, or the king and queen as they do so. [53] Unfortunately the identity and role of “the man of Harugu” is entirely obscure. And the passage is so laconic that one should not rule out the further involvement of the BALAĜ.DI. They may have completed the former sequence, but are now employed in a further lament for which only the three key new participants are specified.
franklin fig6
Figure 6. Seated/enthroned lyrist with animals. Unprovenanced North Syrian cylinder seal, ca. 2900–2350. Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, 2462. Drawn from SAM no. 70.
What kind of music would be involved in such a mortuary ritual? [54] The appropriateness of lamentation at a funeral is self-evident, and is the earliest documented function of the Sumerian GALA. [55] But if the ritual was related to the long-term maintenance of mortuary cult, we need not envision only acute grief and continuous ululation. If the kinnārum was indeed employed, something more musical—more lyrical—should also be supposed. [56] Probably the lamentation-­singing served here, as often in Mesopotamia, a prophylactic function—perhaps securing the good will of the divinized ancestors towards the kingdom’s continued prosperity. [57]
The template format of the ritual indicates that this was a traditional procedure, insulated from rapid change by being set down in clay. The ritual was executed for two consecutive kings, and something analogous, if slowly evolving, must have been practiced for many generations. After all, the Ebla King List goes back twenty-six generations or more, conceivably to the twenty-eighth century. [58] This list must be associated with eleven further cultic texts in which various divinized kings are named in the contexts of offerings and rituals. [59] Such a royal ancestor cult, enacted by a very small and socially/historically self-conscious group, and limited to occasional but regular performances, might very well enjoy great longevity—on the order of many centuries. [60] Ebla thus evokes a deep historical background for the kinnāru’s connections with the royal mortuary cult of Ugarit, a millennium later. [61]

Divine Lyre at Ebla?

No offerings to musical instruments have yet been found in Ebla’s economic records. [62] Yet the documents do attest to the veneration of other cult-objects: two sheep were offered for the provisioning of the sheath or spear of Rašap of Atanni; sheep for the head and feet of the same god’s statue; sheep for the scepters of several gods; and one sheep for a throne (god not specified). Although such objects are not written with divine determinatives at Ebla, [63] the very fact that they received such offerings indicates that Ebla shared with Mesopotamia some conceptions about their potential divinity. Another text apparently relates to bad omens that were believed to result from the improper worship of a divine statue. [64] So one may at least say that the conditions for a divinized kinnārum were in place at Ebla, especially given bilateral scribal familiarity with BALAĜ and kinnārum between Mesopotamia and Ebla. [65]
It seems quite certain, at least, that the instrument was already considered to possess special powers. This is well illustrated by a cylinder seal in the Bible Lands Museum (Figure 6), apparently from North Syria to judge from stylistic parallels, which also indicate a third millennium date. [66] A seated, perhaps enthroned, figure (male?) plays an instrument not dissimilar in shape to contemporary Sumerian lyres, but lacking a bull’s-head. In motion before the musician are two animals, perhaps a dog and a lion (or equid). It is a very early example of a motif—lyrist facing or surrounded by animals—which had a long history in the Syro-Levantine sphere. [67] Later parallels suggest that the seal may reflect wisdom traditions associated with lyre-playing and/or the use of lyre-music to symbolize a harmonious realm—the wise and powerful ruler prevailing over the wild forces that threaten social and political stability. [68] Whatever the precise interpretation, the importance of the lyre itself is suggested by its careful rendering and central placement. Well out in front of the musician, in an impossible playing position, the lyre is fully represented, practically independent of its player—an object of interest and significance in its own right.


[ back ] 1. Matthiae 1989:259; Stieglitz 2002:215 and n1, 216; Archi 2006:99.
[ back ] 2. Michalowski 1985; Archi 1988b; Matthiae 1989:256–266; Archi 1997.
[ back ] 3. Archi 1978–1979; Stieglitz 1990; Archi 1993; Archi 1994; Pomponio and Xella 1997 (87–88, 245–248 for Kura and Barama).
[ back ] 4. Archi 2006:98.
[ back ] 5. Archi 2006:98; Tonietti 2010:71–72.
[ back ] 6. Archi 1993:8. Catagnoti and Bonechi 1998, expanding on the catalog of Michalowski 1992, distinguish Sumerian and Akkadian incantations at Ebla from local Eblaitic ones, as well as Akkadian ones that were ‘Eblaitized’; Tonietti 2010:71–72, suggests that “creating a local incantation genre was a programmatic goal of Ebla scribes.”
[ back ] 7. For these archives, their dating, and the kind of information they provide, Archi 1986a; Matthiae 1989:221–298; Archi 1992; Archi 2006:101–109.
[ back ] 8. The musical evidence spans the entire period of the archive, but becomes more detailed from the reign of Yiš’ar-Damu: see Tonietti 2010:73. See especially the stimulating survey by Biga 2006, with some references to unpublished material.
[ back ] 9. Festival and other contexts: Biga 2011:481–482; Tonietti 2010:75–79, 82–83. For the problem of temple musicians, Tonietti 1997; Tonietti 2010:81n69; but cf. Archi et al. 1988:273: “musicians were also active in peripheral towns, in some cases in the temples.”
[ back ] 10. Tonietti 1998; Biga 2006; Tonietti 2010:75–79.
[ back ] 11. Textile-payments to the NAR were generally done by the group on an annual or biannual basis: Tonietti 1989:118–119; Tonietti 2010:73–74. That they were not monthly, and never involved foodstuffs, has suggested that the NAR did not actually reside in the palace: Biga 2006:30. More recently, however, Biga writes: “À la cour d’Ébla vivaient … chanteurs” (Biga 2011:490); cf. Tonietti 2010:83 (“attached to the palace”).
[ back ] 12. Tonietti 2010:75.
[ back ] 13. Cf. Biga 2011:490.
[ back ] 14. Musiciennes at Ebla: Tonietti 1988:115; Archi et al. 1988:273; RlA 8:482 (Tonietti, *Musik A II), noting that the feminine determinative is otherwise unknown in connection with NAR; Biga 2003:65; Biga 2006:26, 28, 30; Tonietti 2010:74–75; cf. Ziegler 2006b:34.
[ back ] 15. Tonietti 2010:84.
[ back ] 16. Tonietti 1988, especially 106–109, 117; Archi et al. 1988:271; Tonietti 1989; Matthiae 1989:283; Catagnoti 1989:176; RlA 8:482 (Tonietti, *Musik A II); Feliu 2003:36; Biga 2006:25–26; Tonietti 2010:74. For Mari, see p73–76.
[ back ] 17. Tonietti 1988:107–108, who speculates about “un cambiamento della situazione musicale, forse nel tipo di utilizzazione dei NAR.MAḪ”; cf. Tonietti 2010:74.
[ back ] 18. Cf. Archi et al. 1988:272–273 (temple of Dagan and elsewhere); Tonietti 1988:118; Biga 2006:26; Tonietti 2010:82.
[ back ] 19. See generally Archi 2006:106–109; Tonietti 2010:70.
[ back ] 20. See p54, 531; Heimpel, “Balang-Gods,” Section 1a.
[ back ] 21. So DCPIL:58.
[ back ] 22. See p54; Heimpel, “Balang-Gods,” 4c.
[ back ] 23. LÚ.BALAĜ: ARET 15.1 25 obv. VII.1 (§24): Tonietti 2010:80.
[ back ] 24. TM 75.2365 rev. XII.17–20; ARET 15.1 23 obv. VII.14–15 (§34). See Archi et al. 1988:273; cf. Tonietti 2010:80.
[ back ] 25. See p28.
[ back ] 26. The appearance of BALAĜ in various compounds in Sumerian lexical texts might suggest a looser usage for a variety of lyres, or even stringed instruments generally: see Krispijn 1990:6–7; Heimpel, “Balang-Gods,” Section 1b, 4b.
[ back ] 27. Nine BALAĜ.DI appear in four texts cited by Archi et al. 1988:273; cf. Fronzaroli 1988:12; Matthiae 1989:283; Conti 1990:160; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:140, 162–163, cf. 171; RlA 8:482 (Tonietti, *Musik A II); Tonietti 2010:80.
[ back ] 28. Tonietti 2010:83, with this translation of É.NUN; for the possible cultic implications of the word, see Conti 1990:118n253 with references. The texts are ARET 12 773 I.1–2 (wool); 874 XIV.11–12; cf. 709 I.3–4 (wool). A further textile disbursement for one BALAĜ.DI is recorded in ARET 3 44 V.1.
[ back ] 29. BALAĜ.DI in Sumerian sources: Hartmann 1960:124, cf. 64; RlA 8:469 (Kilmer, *Musik A I).
[ back ] 30. Noted by Tonietti 2010:85, also suggesting a correlation with the lack of Sumerian names among the NAR of Ebla (by contrast with the Sumerian names borne by the NAR of Mari present at Ebla: Tonietti 1998:89–97).
[ back ] 31. Pettinato 1992:277–278.
[ back ] 32. Ebla Vocabulary §571: Pettinato 1982:264.
[ back ] 33. Fronzaroli 1988:12–13; Fronzaroli 1989; Fronzaroli 1991:33; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:42. This interpretation is accepted by Conti 1990:160; RlA 8:482 (Tonietti, *Musik A II); Tonietti 2010:83. Pettinato 1992:237, finds this plausible (237), but at 209 gives some credence to the alternative proposal of D’Agostino 1988:79n19 (looking rather to the root *ndr, attested in Hebrew in the sense of “giurare”). For another interpretation, see Heimpel, “Balang-Gods,” Section 3c2.
[ back ] 34. The texts are TM.75.G.1823+, TM.75.G.1939+, and TM.75.G.1672. See the edition of Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993 (ARET 11); also Pettinato 1992, partial edition with alternative reconstruction. Chronology: Fronzaroli 1992:178–183; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:XI, 21, 72; Biga 2011:487; Biga and Capomacchia 2012:20–22.
[ back ] 35. Whereas a ‘prescriptive ritual’ lays out required actions, a ‘descriptive ritual’ gives an account of “what transpired on special cultic occasions.” See the good theoretical discussion of Levine 1983; cf. Levine 1963a:105 (quotation).
[ back ] 36. Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:XI et passim.
[ back ] 37. Biga and Capomacchia 2012 (“rifondazione dei valori sacrali rappresentati dalla coppia regale in rapporto agli antenati del re,” 25). For the importance of the queen, and tentative suggestions about hierogamy, Pettinato 1992, with the contribution by P. Pisi, “Considerazioni storico-religiose sulla regalità ad Ebla,” 313–341 (complicated by the differing textual reconstruction of Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993); cf. Pomponio and Xella 1997:87, 245, 333).
[ back ] 38. See the account of Fronzaroli 1992.
[ back ] 39. For the identification of the royal mausoleum, Fronzaroli 1992:173–175.
[ back ] 40. Fronzaroli 1992:164–165, 180–181; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:47–48 §85. Three-seven day cycles at the mausoleum itself is made explicit by ARET 11 3 §11–14 (this text is abstracted from ARET 11 2). For Kura and Burama, see Pomponio and Xella 1997:87, 245, 333.
[ back ] 41. ARET 11 1 §85, 88, 91; 2 §89, 92, 95.
[ back ] 42. Cf. Biga and Capomacchia 2012:24, emphasizing that all three versions of the text, including its ‘handbook’ form (ARET 11 3 §12), call for lamentation. The BALAĜ.DI’s participation is presumably implied by further allusions to lament elsewhere, if this is the correct interpretation of SI.DÚ: Fronzaroli 1988:13; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:25 §11. The passages in question are ARET 11 1 §11, line 6 (restored) and §13, line 16 ≈ 2 §16, lines 8, 18. Cf. also ARET 11 1 §32, line 20 (with note on p34 §32).
[ back ] 43. Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:42 read ti-’à-ba-nu here as a derivative of *ḥbn, ‘be angered’. But cf. Pettinato 1992:209, who would see rather a reference to song via the corresponding Sumerogram at ARET 11 2 §66, line 22.
[ back ] 44. Fronzaroli 1992:171; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:25, 42.
[ back ] 45. ARET 11 1 §63–65 ≈ 2 §66–68 (all translations after Fronzaroli).
[ back ] 46. Tonietti 2010:85.
[ back ] 47. See Jacobsen 1973:286–289, 293–295; cf. Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:42 §65. Regarding the Ebalite equivalent of Nintu, Pomponio and Xella 1997:333 write only that “elle était vraisemblablement vénérée comme un variante locale” of similar powers, noting that no equivalent is found in the lexical lists.
[ back ] 48. For this interpretation, see Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:79 §79.
[ back ] 49. For this obscure figure, see Fronzaroli 1992:167, 172; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:35–36 (suggesting that he was a village chief or son thereof).
[ back ] 50. ARET 11 1 §75–77 ≈ 2 §79–81 ≈ 3 §12.
[ back ] 51. Fronzaroli 1988:13; Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:45. For the Akkadian usage, CAD s.v. lapātu, 1p, 4d; Kilmer 1965:263, 13; RlA 8:464 (Kilmer, *Musik A I).
[ back ] 52. Note the alternative interpretation of Pettinato 1992:213.
[ back ] 53. Fronzaroli and Catagnoti 1993:45 §77; cf. Fronzaroli 1988:29–31.
[ back ] 54. Following Schmidt 1994:4–12 and Pardee 1996b in connection with Ugarit, ‘funerary’ refers to one-time rites associated with the death of a king, notably burial and his successor’s accession. ‘Mortuary’ relates to the ongoing maintenance of the royal dead, comparable to the Mesopotamian kispu ritual (for which see generally Tsukimoto 1985; for the problematic connection with Ugarit, see with further references Pardee 1996b; TPm:176–178).
[ back ] 55. See p29.
[ back ] 56. Compare the Aegean vintage festivals where the lyrist Linos was lamented in what appears to be, as Homer describes it, a quite cheerful occasion: see p308.
[ back ] 57. Note, however, the arguments of Schmidt 1994 against the currency of ‘beneficent dead’ in this early period.
[ back ] 58. See Archi 2001; Stieglitz 2002. Cf. also Archi 1986b; Archi 1988a; Biga and Pomponio 1987; Archi et al. 1988:212–215; Matthiae 1989:253; Archi 1993:16; Archi 2006:98.
[ back ] 59. For the intentional if mysterious patterns of veneration that emerge from these cultic texts, see Stieglitz 2002:220–222.
[ back ] 60. Cf. Stieglitz 2002:217: “The Ebla archives now extend this royal tradition in Syria back to the first half of the third millennium.”
[ back ] 61. See p134–147.
[ back ] 62. Biga 2006:30 alluded to a wool-distribution to BALAĜs of the crown prince’s palace (TM 75.G.2337 obv. VII 47, reign of Yiš’ar-Damu), but the recipients were actually the BALAĜ.DI lamenters; I thank her for confirming this (correspondence, 10/1/2009).
[ back ] 63. Pettinato 1979:27–28, 111–112; cf. Baldacci 1992:277; Selz 1997:176.
[ back ] 64. Fronzaroli 1997.
[ back ] 65. See p54; Heimpel, “Balang-Gods,” 4d and 4e.
[ back ] 66. Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem no. 2462. See with references SAM:110 no. 70, where it is dated ca. 2900–2350 BCE.
[ back ] 67. Cf. DCPIL:53 and index s.v. ‘animals:lyrist and’.
[ back ] 68. See index s.v. ‘order, symbolized by music’.